Society and the Individual
March 27, 2011
It was with some trepidation that I awaited my score for the Presidential Implicit Association Test (IAT). Was it possible that I am subconsciously racist? Despite the fact that I genuinely don’t look at Barack Obama any differently because he is black; the nature of this test forces your mind and body to work so quickly in synch that it forces a high level of veracity. Luckily in both of my IAT results my subconscious did not betray me, but it did require a certain amount of concentration at times, which might make a statement in and of itself.
My first IAT was the Native American-European test, which I selected merely out of interest and curiosity. When filling out the questionnaire there was one answer I gave that I thought was worth exploring. The question asked something along the lines of, “who do you consider to be more ‘American,’ Native Americans or European Americans?” Clearly in the very labeling of these two groups, Native Americans should epitomize what it means to be “American,” given they are native to the land. But what has become of America, the culture and landscape as a whole, has a very different face than that of the country’s indigenous people. I don’t think I'm alone when I say that “whites” or Americans of European descent are the more representative race in this country, by far. And while, America truly is a melting pot, and home to African American, Latino and Asian American populations in particular, this country is overwhelmingly white. In fact according to the CIA’s World Factbook by July of 2011 the statistics read that whites hold 79.96% of the population and Amerindians are at .97%. Given this data, its not surprising that my image of an “American” leans towards that of European descent.
Although my results “suggest little or no association between White Americans and Native Americans with foreign and American,” it did require a bit of concentration...